- Height: up to 18 inches
- Weight: 26-50 lb
- Lifespan: 12-15 years
- Group: AKC Foundation Stock Service
- Best Suited For: Families with children, active singles, houses with yards, farm/rural areas
- Temperament: Friendly, hard-working, affectionate, high-spirited
- Comparable Breeds: Puli, Old English Sheepdog
If you were to picture a long-coated, fluffy sheep dog with hair covering its eyes you might be picturing the Schapendoes. This dog has a unique name and a friendly temperament but it is known for its herding abilities as well as its talent for dog sports. The Schapendoes is a high-spirited breed that loves to learn and play.
This dog has a unique name and a friendly temperament but it is known for its herding abilities as well as its talent for dog sports.
The name Schapendoes translates to “Dutch Sheepdog”, which is exactly what it is. This Dutch Sheepdog originated in the Netherlands as a herding dog and general farm dog. The name Schapendoes actually refers to a type of dog, not a specific breed, as local working dogs were selectively bred and adapted to specific jobs and environments. The breed was first shown under the name “Domestic Herding Dog” in the 1870s and it nearly went extinct during World War II. The modern Schapendoes breed was developed from a small number of survivors, first recognized by the Dutch national kennel club, Raad van Beheer, in 1952.
The breed was only developed after the Second World War. During the 1800s, the name Schapendoes was given to a type of dog rather than a specific breed. Different populations bred the dog for different environments and tasks.
The Schapendoes is a herding breed which means that it has a great deal of energy. This being the case, it is recommended that you feed your dog a commercial dog food formulated especially for active breeds. This will ensure that your dog’s energy needs are met, especially if you decide to train your dog for dog sports.
The Schapendoes breed is intelligent – this dog loves to learn and he excels at a variety of dog sports.
The Schapendoes breed is intelligent – this dog loves to learn and he excels at a variety of dog sports. These dogs can be a little independent, so a firm hand in training is required and positive reinforcement-based training methods are recommended. These dogs require plenty of mental stimulation in addition to physical stimulation (exercise).
The average height of the Schapendoes at maturity is about 18 inches at the withers. Females of the breed typically weigh 26 to 44 pounds while males can weigh up to 50 pounds.
The Schapendoes breed is incredibly friendly and affectionate by nature. These dogs are not aggressive not are they overly protective – they typically do not make good guard dogs. When raised with children, this breed can make a good family pet. Because these dogs are very active and intelligent, however, they require early socialization and training to prevent the development of a strong will or destructive behavior.
Common Health Problems
The Schapendoes is generally a hardy breed, not prone to developing any major congenital conditions. Like all dogs, however, this breed may be affected my minor health concerns including ear infections, progressive retinal atrophy, and hip dysplasia.
The average life expectancy for the Schapendoes breed is 12 to 15 years.
As a herding dog, the Schapendoes is lively and active. This breed requires a good bit of daily exercise and they particularly enjoy participating in dog sports like flyball and agility. These dogs do best when given plenty of outdoor space to run and play but they can be adaptable to apartment life if they receive sufficient daily exercise.
The Schapendoes breed is incredibly friendly and affectionate by nature.
The Schapendoes was first recognized by the Dutch national kennel club, Raad van Beheer, in 1952. In 1971, the breed was recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale in the Sheepdog group. The breed currently belongs to the Herding Group for both the Canadian and United Kennel Clubs. It has not yet been accepted for registration by the AKC but it is part of the Foundation Stock Service.
The Schapendoes has a long, thick coat that covers the body, legs, face, and tail. This breed has small ears that are densely covered in fur with a moustache and beard adorning the face. The coat of this breed may be any color or combination of colors but black and white are the most common colors.
The average litter size for this breed is five puppies. Early training and socialization is recommended for Schapendoes puppies because they tend to develop an independent streak as they grow and mature. Puppies also require plenty of mental stimulation because this is an intelligent breed that gets bored easily.
Photo credit: eriklam/Bigstock.com; Lovisa/Flickr